In reference to all this talk about free agency on the offensive line?
Although some seem to believe that the Falcons will make at least one major signing, I don't think that's going to happen. And by major signing, I mean the team will give out a signing bonus of at least $5 million.
Right now we are $15.3 million over the cap. But we should save $18.75 million with Vick's signing bonus getting prorated, then with cuts like Cory Hall, Travis Hall, and Jasper's retirement that should save another $6.1 million. If we restructure the contracts of Weiner, Dunn, and Smith it should save us another $3-4 million.
So at that point, I expect we will have up to $13.55 million in cap space at the start of the off-season.
But with the RFAs and EFAs, if we tender them all, it will eat up about $6.4 million. That leaves us with $7.15 million in cap space.
What about our UFAs then? I think a bunch of these guys will be coming back. I think guys like Garza, Feely, Rossum, and maybe Mathis will probably get long term deals. They won't be big contracts, with probably the highest signing bonus awarded to any of them being $750K. But I think guys like Pritchett (or McCrary), Ulmer, Herndon, and Eric Johnson will return as well. Not to mention the team will probably like to bring back Stewart, Carpenter, and/or Beasley as well. But let's say the team only signs the first 8 guys I mentioned and manages to get them all to sign minimum level deals with $25,000 signing bonuses. That's $3.88 million in cap space.
That leaves us with $3.27 million. And from my estimations, we are going to need around $3.5 million to sign our rookies.
Of course we can save a few dollars by pinching some veterans, RFAs, and EFAs here or there, but it's not going to make a huge difference in my mind. Of course, the team could instill a "purge" and instead of restructuring the contracts of Weiner, Dunn, Smith, along with Draft, and Beverly, from my estimations will save the team about $6.4 million if they are all cut, instead of the $3-4 million I had indicated before.
If we cut Weiner, Dunn, and Smith it will save about $4.3 million. But I think the team could potentially do the same with smart restructuring, if not more.
But basically, any FA that receives a $5 million bonus or more will cost the team at least $1.37 million against this year's cap. So when McKay says the team won't be players in the market this year, I sincerely think he's speaking the truth, and that should be taken more literal than most are. If the Falcons do sign other free agents, it will be bargain-basement types, and it may be 2, 3, or 4 of them at most.
So guys like Diem, Wahle, and DeMulling, although all look like good targets are very unlikely to be Falcons next year. Basically saying that if someone is not willing to accept a near minimum-level deal, then he likely won't be a Falcon.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.